U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy filibusters on the Senate floor Wednesday.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy on Face the State WFSB-TV

Washington – Sen. Chris Murphy, who spoke to President Donald Trump last week about supporting legislation that would expand FBI checks of gun buyers, said Tuesday he is disregarding reports the president has cooled to the idea until Trump speaks directly to him.

“I spoke to President Trump last week and he expressed support for working together with Republicans and Democrats to come up with a background checks bill that can pass the Senate and save lives,” Murphy said. “Until I hear directly from him, I’m not willing to concede that history repeated itself and that he has walked away from the commitment he made.”

Trump said he supported stronger FBI background checks and other initiatives, including raising the legal age for the purchase of rifles, after last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

But he walked back his support for those gun control measures after speaking with the National Rifle Association and congressional Republicans.

The same dynamic seems to have taken place in the wake of this month’s shootings in El Paso, Tex, and Dayton, Ohio, during which 31 people were killed.

The president told reporters Tuesday that closing loopholes in the FBI’s background checks of potential gun purchasers may be a “slippery slope” that threatens 2nd Amendment rights.

“A lot of the people that put me where I am are strong believers in the Second Amendment, and I am also,” Trump said. “They call it the slippery slope. All of a sudden everything gets taken away. We’re not going to let that happen.”

The U.S. House approved two bills in February that would expand FBI background checks for individuals who buy guns on the internet and give the FBI up to 20 business days, instead of the current three, to complete all background checks.

But the GOP-controlled Senate has not acted on those bills.

Trump also echoed the NRA line that guns are not the problem, but people, especially those who are mentally ill, are the problem.

“I said it 100 times: It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger, it’s the person that pulls the trigger,” the president said.

Murphy said “We’ve been here before, after Parkland, when the president made a commitment on background checks and then backed away after being lobbied by the NRA.”

Trump’s turnaround also puts at risk another initiative the president said he’d support right after the El Paso and Dayton shootings — the expansion of state “red flag” laws that allow for the temporary seizure of guns from those who are a danger to themselves or others.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., are working on a federal red flag bill that would give grants to states that adopt laws establishing extreme risk protection orders.

Connecticut was the first state in the nation to implement a red flag law. It was enacted in 1999.

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Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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  1. Some 50+ million firearm owners PLUS many more of us who are tired of our Rights being endlessly attacked–primarily by Democrats. I’d wager that many of us sent strong messages making just that point to the White House and Members of Congress.

    Politicians like Sens Murphy and Blumenthal will never stop attacking a variety of CITIZENS’ Rights, and we must do all we (legally) can to stop those efforts in their tracks.

    1. The foreclosure process was begun on his home, something like two, three different times for non-payment. One instance was reported as six months of missed mortgage payments with both he and his wife working, he’s a lawyer for crying out loud, and he claimed it was an oversight or miscommunication… for six months! Most people don’t miss one month’s mortgage payment absent a catastrophic event or extreme circumstances.

      It’s a ridiculous comment on the state of the electorate in Connecticut that the guy got elected in the first place. The citizenry put him in office in a position that is in charge of the public purse and paying the bills yet the guy couldn’t pay his own bills, the most important bill responsibly, it’s like a bad joke.

      1. All true PLUS at the time Rep. Murphy received the additional mortgage, he was a member of the House Committee on Financial Services which regulated banks. That sounds remarkably similar to then-Sen Dodd getting sweetheart mortgage deals while he was Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

        I’m sure the financial shenanigans had nothing to do with their legislative positions. /sarc

        Of course, the so-called “Ethics” Committee said ‘keep moving..nothing to see here.’

  2. Murphy would like to further deny Americans our Civil Rights by enacting greater restrictions on the Bill of Rights that the Founders demanded be amended to the Constitution for the protection of our citizens against state and federal government power.

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